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considers law allowing transsexual to claim title of adopted

considers law allowing transsexual to claim title of adopted

Thailand, one of the world's most tolerant countries toward transvestites and transsexuals, is considering a law to allow people who have had a sex change to officially change their title, reports said Sunday.

The proposal, which would allow transgender men or women to choose how they are addressed, is being considered by the country's National Legislative Assembly to support an antidiscrimination provision in the draft constitution, Thai newspapers reported.

Wiroon Tangcharoen, an assembly member who is also rector of Srinakharinwirot University, said he supported the move, which would bring Thailand's laws in line with those of other countries, The Nation newspaper said.

No further details were available about the proposed law.

Wiroon said he did not believe the law would cause any problems in university dormitories, where students are segregated by sex, The Nation reported.

Students wishing to stay with members of their adopted gender would have to produce medical certificates proving they had undergone sex-change operations, he said,

''The university has nothing against male transsexual students staying in female dormitories on the campus,'' he was quoted saying.

Even though Thailand is widely tolerant of homosexuals, transvestites, and transsexuals--who have a regular presence on TV, in movies, and the entertainment business--many must overcome family pressure, social prejudice, and domestic violence.

Three years ago, faced with the problem of which bathrooms transvestite students should use, a college in the northern province of Chiang Mai designated a bathroom for exclusive use of the school's 15 cross-dressing students.

Dubbed the Pink Lotus Bathroom, the facility at the Chiang Mai Technology School featured four stalls, but no urinals. On the door was a sign with intertwined male and female symbols.

The transvestites--who had to wear male attire at school but were allowed to sport feminine hairdos--had annoyed female students when using the women's bathrooms and faced harassment in the men's facilities. (AP)

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